Project Home Possibilities: How to Bring Personality Into an Off-the-Plan Property

posted by Chris Valentine

With the rapid-fire nature of property development nowadays, more and more first-time homeowners and investors are choosing to buy off-the-plan properties, effectively saving themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars on costs like stamp duty, separate mortgage and construction loans, tax returns, and council permits. But all these savings are largely balanced out by the seemingly passive process of buying a house and land package. It’s not unusual for first-time homeowners to feel steamrolled by fast-paced developers who make all your decisions for you. But you’ll be happy to hear that there are actually a few things you can do to ensure that your future home will be built with some of your own personal flair in mind!

Choosing your builder

Always opt for reputable project home builders over ‘quick-fix’ agencies that churn out ‘cookie-cutter’ homes. Established project home builders will allow you to treat your development as an actual ‘project’. Building your home should be an experience that the whole family gets to have some say in, and so the opportunity to be as involved as possible in the plans prior to construction can be incredibly valuable, especially if the home you’re looking to build will be your only home for the foreseeable future. Of course, it’s worthwhile doing the bulk of your research and personal planning prior to meeting with your builders, just so you have a solid understanding of what you’ll be wanting before you even start talking about signing any contracts.

It should also be mentioned that a lot of the risks associated with investing in off-the-plan properties are also linked to enlisting the help of agencies that aren’t dedicated project home builders. Outcomes like construction delays or a failure to finish projects (and even the potential lowering of property values during the construction process) can be mitigated by doing business with project home builders who have thoroughly established their development procedures and have also conducted a large level of research on the areas surrounding their new estates. You can usually tell the difference between an agency that’s done their homework and one that’s working as a ‘property mill’.

Fixtures and features

An established project home builder should also boast their own industry connections with suppliers and manufacturers in the materials and interior design industries. It’s well worth your while inquiring on deals that your project home builder can offer you on premium materials like marble countertops and chrome bathroom fixtures, as chances are high that they’ll be able to source these at wholesale prices. Alongside this, you should also be checking the water and energy efficiency ratings on all the built-in appliances that are available for you, to ensure that your home will be fitted with only the most eco-friendly amenities.

On a more light-hearted note, you should also take your time deciding what kinds of windows, window coverings, and light fixtures you’d like to incorporate into your future home. These are features that will be easiest to customise even after your foundation has been laid, as they’re not related to your property’s structural integrity at all and so aren’t a top-priority decision, like making the decision to remove a whole wall from the original floor plan. Even so, you should always have some solid ideas in mind regarding what kind of facade and interior style you’d like your home to have.


Gardens and other outdoor spaces are where you can truly get creative as a first-time homeowner, and it’s largely the reason why a lot of young families decide to live in stand-alone homes in the outer suburbs rather than in apartments or townhouses in the inner city. If you’re a young family or a young couple who’s looking to start a family, chances are high that you’ll want your own garden so that your kids can grow up surrounded by nature.

This is why you should speak to your builder about your options regarding landscaping and garden design, as well as relevant environmental factors like the orientation of your future home, and the quality and characteristics of the soil on-site. You can work with your project home builder to enhance or expand on your available garden space by altering your floor plan to maximise your yard space, or even incorporating some hardy native flora or features like planters and garden beds into your property’s development plans.

Alongside this small list, there are a variety of ways you can personalise your home even after all the construction has been completed, through paying mind to your interior design practices and allowing your family to personalise their own spaces. It all revolves around starting conversations. So, go out and find yourself a builder who’s happy to chat with you today!

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